This is not my own recipe. It is from The New Best Recipe: All-New Edition with 1,000 Recipes by the editors of America’s Test Kitchen and it is pretty darn perfect.
Here’s what you need.
2 cups (10 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
(What I often do is I take quadruple the above listed quantity of ingredients, stir them together in a big mixing bowl, and then store it in an airtight canister.
Like that. Voila, homemade pancake mix. Saves a lot of measuring down the road.)
Now that you have the dry ingredients together, you need:
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1-2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Combine the lemon juice and milk. (This is meant to substitute for buttermilk. I married an Indian, so I almost always have a bottle of buttermilk sitting in my fridge and that’s what I use. But if you don’t have buttermilk, you’d want to make your sour milk first, before you deal with the dry ingredients.)
Have your melted and slightly cooled butter on hand. Whisk the egg. Combine the whisked egg and the sour milk. Beat a bit.
Now pour this beaten egg, lemon, milk (or egg & buttermilk) combo into your bowl of dry ingredients, followed by the melted and slightly cooled butter. Stir just until combined. Batter should be somewhat lumpy. (My mother-in-law got this recipe from me to make for the kidlets when they stay with her but they complained that her pancakes didn’t taste the same. We later found out she beat the batter with an electric mixer and made the batter too smooth. In the process, most of the air bubbles that would later make the pancake fluffy probably deflated too.)
Heat your pan or griddle on medium heat for a few minutes. (This is my process. Start heating the pan. Put butter to melt in microwave. Measure out dry-ingredient mix from canister. Beat Egg. Combine w/ buttermilk. Combine all wet and dry ingredients. And the pan should be at just the right temperature.)
Do a test pancake to check for temperature, if you’d like to be sure. I live adventurously and haven’t done a test pancake in years–sometimes to my regret. 🙂 Different pans and different stoves heat at different intensity. But whatever you do, don’t heat the pan at higher temperature. Just wait longer. Higher temperature will only produce burnt and unevenly cooked pancakes.
Pour a few drops of oil in your pan and roll it around. Plop in your pancake batter by the quarter-cupful. Cook pancakes until large bubbles begin to appear, about 1.5 to 2 minutes. Flip pancakes over. Cook another 1 to 1.5 minutes. Repeat w/ remaining butter, add more oil to pan as necessary.
Nom nom nom.